After debuting in the comedy “I Heart Huckabees,” Jonah Hill has steadily posited himself as a solid hilarious support in the string of his movies that followed. Appearing afterwards in acclaimed hits like “The 40-Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Superbad,” “Forgettting Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek,” “Moneyball” and the most recent “21 Jump Street” with Channing Tatum which is Hill’s highest grossing film after “Superbad.”
His latest movie “The Watch” which is about to open in cinemas this September 5 (in Phils. cinemas) allowed him to work with Ben Stiller, one of moviedom’s great comic talents. In “The Watch,” four suburban guys formed a patrol which they tagged as ‘Neighborhood Watch’ after a mysterious incident left a security guard lifeless in the town’s superstore Costco. Headed by the civic minded Evan (Ben Stiller), he recruits fun-loving family guy Bob (Vince Vaughn), tough-talking ‘wild card’ Franklin (Jonah Hill) and the recent divorcé Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade).
Even with – or maybe because of – their spiffy new “Watch” jackets, which are emblazoned with fiery wings and a tiger head, the not-so-fearsome foursome initially gets no respect from the residents they’re supposedly looking out for. A group of kids plaster them with eggs, and the local cops think they’re a joke: the Hardy Boys…only far less savvy.
“When they formed this ‘band of brothers’, the guys thought, sure, they might encounter some weird neighborhood stuff – maybe a burglar here, or peeping tom there – but suddenly they realize they’ve facing something extraordinary,” says producer Shawn Levy, the director of such hits as “Night at the Museum” and “Real Steel.” “And The Watch is not just unprepared or unqualified, it’s not remotely equipped to deal with this problem; yet it’s all on them to stop it.”
The youngest member of the team is Franklin (Jonah Hill), a twentysomething, militant looking tough guy with, notes Schaffer “a sweetness just underneath.” (He still lives at home with his mom.) Franklin has a planet-size chip on his shoulder because he’s been rejected as a candidate for the police force and all other law enforcement organizations. So for Franklin, The Watch is the only way he can legally kick ass and take names. “Franklin is alienated from, well everything,” says Hill. “He’s very strange and very funny.”
Coming off his Oscar®-nominated performance in the drama “Moneyball,” and executive producing and starring in the critically-hailed hit “21 Jump Street,” Hill was not looking to return to the kind of raucous comedy that had propelled him to superstardom (like “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express”), but he “couldn’t resist the chance to perform opposite alongside Ben, Vince and Richard,” notes the actor.
“It was something I had to do.” Moreover, “if I was going to do another broad comedy, I wanted it to have no basis in reality, and portray a character that could say or do anything. Plus, anytime you put an extreme amount of danger in the hands of irresponsible people, you know the results are going to be really wild.”
More of Jonah Hill and the movie in this interactive trailer of “The Watch” http://www.youtube.com/thewatchintl.
“The Watch” is a 20th Century Fox movie to be distributed by Warner Bros. in local cinemas (Sept. 5).